Rob Ironside doesn’t believe in waste, whether it’s wasted potential, resources or opportunities. In all respects, he aims to make the most of things.
Originally from Calgary, Alta., Rob spent a high school year with Class Afloat taking courses while sailing a tall ship around the world. That opportunity introduced him to Halifax. “My favourite thing about Halifax is that it’s so locally minded,” he says. “I love being able to easily buy local products like food, coffee and beer.”
His biggest reason for choosing Dal was the Environmental Engineering program. “We study soil, air, water and waste and do a lot of broad systems thinking because the environment is so complex. It makes the problems interesting.”
Earlier this year, Rob was honoured with the Camp 7 Iron Ring Award, which recognizes a graduating Engineering student who displays an exceptionally high professional attitude. The award is a credit to his academic record but also to his work with Engineers Without Borders (EWB). “School can only teach you so much,” he says. “You have to make sure you get involved outside the classroom too.”
EWB took him to Zambia for four months where he worked for BioCarbon Partners, a Zambian based social enterprise. “Being outside my comfort zone made it a challenging and valuable experience,” he says.
Rob is now on EWB Canada’s board of directors. “I see international development as unlocking human potential,” he says. “We’re wasting so much because people don’t have the same access to opportunities as we do.”
His trip introduced him to global engineering, the idea of using engineering skills to solve issues beyond technical problems. That’s why in June he’s joining a Calgary-based start-up focused on sustainability consulting. The company, DIG (Do It Green), helps make events more sustainable through waste diversion, energy audits and other efficiencies.
This article is part of our series of profiles on the graduates of the Class of 2015. These profiles are also published in the Convocation Keepsake which is distributed at Convocation ceremonies. For more information (including live webcasts), visit the Convocation website.
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